Focus Magazine - Summer 2015 - (Page 17)
is what is needed
for learning to occur.
ome experts say, "ere's no such thing
as a poor memory, only a trained or
untrained one." If you've ever seen a
modern day memory demonstration, you
might ask, "How is this possible?" e
techniques are eﬀective and evidence-based.
It's not memory magic. Much has been
written on the neuroscience-based evidence
behind memory. Critical success factors are:
Interest. So obvious, it's overlooked. You
have to want to remember. Mark Twain once
wrote "Everyone talks about the weather, but
no one does anything about it." It's a widely
held belief that interest is a motivational force
in learning. If the task is diﬃcult but the
learners are interested, they stick with it, and
once accomplished, they feel rewarded.
But diﬀerent theories have emerged that
emphasize the situational nature of interest.
e trigger-maintenance hypothesis refers to a
situational occurrence "triggered" when the
learner senses a need to fill a knowledge gap.
So, no need for passionate interest in the topic;
a strong degree or continued level of situational
interest is what is needed for learning to occur.
Try this experiment: Notice how well you
remember people's names one week aer
meeting in two scenarios: 1) Whom you meet
for business reasons, and 2) Whom you meet
socially. Notice the diﬀerence in your recall a
If you've ever seen a memory demonstration
where a person can call out everyone's name in
a large conference room aer meeting each
individual just for a few seconds, know that the
demonstrator uses the situational interest
principal combined with mnemonics to pull oﬀ
an impressive memory demonstration.
Context. Psychologists have researched
environmental context as a memory cue since
the 1970s. For example, one study
demonstrated that learning diﬀerent word lists
in diﬀerent rooms in a house produced
superior recall versus learning all in the same
room. Even though context associations may
not occur by design, they can be leveraged for
retrieval. e study also showed the amount of
information recalled increases if learning
occurs in diﬀerent contexts. is provides
evidence-based rationale behind the impressive
Memory Palace memorization technique.
In the 1980s, state-dependent encoding was
further explored. One study showed that deep
sea-divers who were asked to learn diving tasks
either under water or at the side of a pool later
demonstrated better recall under water. at
provides evidence behind the theory, and
explains why scenario-based objectionhandling improves sales reps' recall.
Overlearning. Psychology professor Wayne
Wickelgren confirmed, "the rehearsal of two
items in close succession strengthens the
association between them. erefore, the more
associations that are strengthened for each item
rehearsed, the better." e concept of
overlearning provides evidence behind the
eﬀectiveness of repetition and reinforcement.
Feedback. Feedback sustains interest and
aids recall. Learners don't get bored and instead
stay interested if they receive suggestions on
how to improve. Psychologists tested learners
on what they recalled one week aer reading a
narrative prose. Half received feedback on
knowledge of results, half didn't. ose that did
receive feedback remembered more than those
that didn't. is evidence supports the
eﬀectiveness of a class review of test answers
right aer the exam, to improve recall a week
later when test-takers are back in the field. I
Merrill Collier is a senior manager of training & education at Thoratec. This article expresses the personal
perspectives of the author. Email Merrill at Merrill.F.Collier@gmail.com
FOCUS | SUMMER 2015 | www.L-TEN.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Magazine - Summer 2015
From the President: Learning Delivery: What's Your Blend?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Surviving and Thriving in a Volatile Industry
Directions: Let the Networking Commence!
Front of the Room: Dig Deeper
Neuroscience: Memory Garden
Sales Trainer Onboarding: A Fresh Approach at Bristol-Myers Squibb
Leading Cross-Functional Teams
Change Your Paradigm, Transform Your Network
What's the BIG Idea? 3 Tips to Open Doors
Is There a Kink in Your Leadership IV?
Identity Hubs: Secure, Productive Collaboration
How Much Will the Next 5 Minutes Matter?
Virtual How: How Companies are Centralizing Training Functions
5 Questions with Peter Bregman
Focus Magazine - Summer 2015